Karnival of Trash Mail Art Call: Ancient Trashpo by Dan Mouer (Richmond, Virginia, USA)

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Mail art by Dan Mouer (Richmond, Virginia, USA)

I am absolutely thrilled to share paradigm-shifting work sent by Dan Mouer expressly for the Karnival of Trash exhibition.

Dan Mouer has achieved Legend of Trashpo status, is a member in good standing of DKult as well as being a Diane Keys confidant and has distinguished himself in the current Eternal Network. For those who know him, these pieces require no explanation.

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For the benefit of all who have happened upon the Karnival of Trash without much background: Dan Mouer is both a professional archeologist and an artist of great distinction. He was a denizen of New York City and connected to its art world during the era of Ray Johnson and Andy Warhol. His support of the network is invaluable and deeply appreciated because he helps pass the original spirit of mail art to new audiences and generations.

In this mailing he has blended these two disciplines and re-contextualized artifacts and artifact documentation to make conceptual art and commentary specifically on the breadth of Trashpo. For instance, we think of Trashpo as being contemporary in the sense that trashpoets and Kulters usually work with the discarded refuse of our current consumer society (although there are notable exceptions). Yet the trash-making capability of humans is ancient. Trashpo has barely scratched the surface of available materials.

Much of our reconstruction of the past involves sifting through ancient garbage. Trashpo, at least in part, is meant to be a commentary on the impact of trash, both positive and negative. Dan Mouer’s fascinating work is an opportunity for deep meditation.

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These FAB photos raise questions about the aesthetics of trash and fragmentation. There is a Gutai-like emphasis on decay and decomposition. The sheets below have a Warhol-like quality:

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And the envelope:

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Many thanks to Dan Mouer for this wonderfully thoughtful contribution to the Karnival of Trash!

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